Posts Tagged ‘Astrology’

Originally published July 9, 2009

“Astrology is not a belief system; it is a language of the dynamic interplay between our interior life and the exterior world. The astrological language grants us access to the invisible realm it describes, and provides the vocabulary with which we can begin a detailed investigative exploration of the psyche.” —Caroline W. Casey, Making the Gods Work for You

In the summer of 2002, I found my way to Casey’s book on the astrological language of the psyche. At the time, I had been working as a Jungian Child Play Therapist, and my clients were abused children ranging from ages three to eight. Without the cognitive ability to fully articulate in verbal or written language the experiences they were having, these children explored and made meaning of their inner and outer world through play, using toys as their words.

As a result of further education in symbolism and myth and over many hours spent observing and interacting with these children, I saw the themes that emerged, and how certain toys were consistently used to express particular experiences. My understanding that the psyche organizes itself through archetypal energies became evident.

A lifelong intrigue and resonance with astrology began as a child and although I read books and took classes over the years, something was missing. Most of the time what I was exposed to felt trite and superficial. I was searching for something more meaningful with depth. Reading Casey’s book, and listening to her speak, I finally found what I had been looking for. Further reading of Jungian Analyst and world famous astrologer Liz Greene’s books, added to the richness and complexity my own psyche thirsted for. Eventually, I made my way to Shamanic Astrology, a blend of archetype, mythology, psychology, spirituality and experiential understanding through direct participation with cosmology in the “As Above, So Below” mysteries.

At the beginning of Casey’s book, she invites the reader to “Think of your life as a spiritual detective novel. Each aspect of your life…is a clue to your task, your destiny, and your gift to the world. Astrology invites us to see life as a web of myriad meaningful patterns. Those moments when we apprehend and perceive patterns give rise in us, to feelings of reverence and awe. Reverence, awe, and positive spiritual intrigue are the primary dynamic qualities the language of astrology seeks to awaken in you.”

In service to what she calls, “the collaboration with the divine in order to co-create the most interesting, ingenious, and loving world possible,” Casey offers her book as an invitation to “experiment, engage, and form alliances with forces that reside within our psyches. These forces connect us to very real corresponding external sources of support, which we will call gods.” She adds, “We need all the help we can get.”

Casey says true help is always reciprocal: whatever we help serves us. “The word therapy means “healing,” but its original meaning was “to serve the gods.” Similarly, the Mayan word for human meant “one who owes the gods.” We serve the gods, internally and externally, in a dance of reciprocal generosity. “When we work for the gods, they work for us.”

Casey posits astrology is at least threefold in its purpose and practice:

* Astrology is descriptive. Jung said, “Anything born at a moment of time has the characteristics of that moment.” Astrology provides a language to describe the characteristics of a person, event, or time.
* Astrology is instructive. Through astrology, we learn how to dance with the ch’i (life force) of the universe. We learn how to play the energies and perceive the patterns, and view them as instructions revealed to us by our intuitions.
* Astrology is celebratory. We only truly possess the power of an insight when we give it expression. Collectively, throughout time, the celebration of celestial order has been what gave a community not only its calendar, but also its story, its cosmology-a sense of intimate place in the vast design.

Casey’s focus is on “Visionary Activism.” She says that each of us has some crucial task to perform in the Grand Intrigue, a task that will not only transform us personally, but also transform the entire climate of culture. She says, “By responding to astrology’s invitation to participate consciously in evolution, we cultivate the infinite capacities of being fully human.”

The following Visionary Activist Principles are derived from her own years of “serious whimsy and musing:”

PRINCIPLE 0 (Zero). Believe nothing, entertain possibilities. Therefore everything hereafter is offered playfully.

PRINCIPLE 1. Imagination lays the tracks for the Reality Train to follow.

PRINCIPLE 2. Better to create prophecy than to live prediction. What makes us passive is toxic. What makes us active is tonic. This is the difference between predictions, which make us passive, and prophecy, which is active co-creation with the divine.

PRINCIPLE 3. The invisible world would like to help, but spiritual etiquette requires that we ask. Help is always available (operators are standing by).

PRINCIPLE 4. The only way the gods know we’re asking for help is ritual (in Shamanic Astrology, we would say ceremony).

PRINCIPLE 5. If something’s a problem, make it bigger.

PRINCIPLE 6. We only possess the power of an insight when we give it expression.

PRINCIPLE 7. Creativity comes from the wedding of paradox. We aspire to be disciplined wild people who are radical traditionalists.

Through “invocative essays” Casey’s book aspires to “expand your range of intimacy with the god-forces represented by the ten planetary bodies other than the Earth (including the Sun and the Moon).

© Holly Alexander at http://www.yourdivineblueprint, 2010. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Holly Alexander and http://www.yourdivineblueprint.com with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

Read Full Post »

India Arie: Photo by Holly Alexander

Originally published on July 24, 2009

“Without self-love a man can do nothing. There are two qualities of self-love. One is a dirty thing. The other, an impulse, love of the real “I.”  Without this, it is impossible to move. An ancient Hindu saying—‘Happy is he who loves himself, for he can love me.’” —Gurdjieff

The transiting Sun in Leo’s got me thinking about LOVE. Thoughts take me back to my experience of India Arie at the recent Harmony Festival in Santa Rosa, and the pure pleasure I felt from her energy.  As she expressed herself joyfully across the stage that night, I saw this beautiful star as a Shining One, her essence a bright light, inviting us to claim ours.  With Venus in Leo at 29 degrees, Arie’s expression of the feminine principle is in the degree Shamanic Astrology calls “the most comprehensive expression of the Leo archetype.”

In the Shamanic Astrology paradigm, the archetype of Leo is connected with radiant, radical, self-love, the kind of deep love that comes from a place of realizing who we are and our connection with Source. The light of us. The sheer brilliant, powerful, shining energy of us as Creator. The inherent value of each one of us, simply because we exist as this Source, this beingness.

The king/queen-ship and royalty connected with this sign, contains within its essence a message of our Divine birthright. Knowing we are this magnificent power, unique in our individual expressions of pure creation, we honor ourselves AS WE ARE. The more deeply we love ourselves at this level it naturally follows, the more deeply we can love others as well.

The shadow or imbalanced side of Leo says, “I am God/dess and you’re not.” Balanced, enlightened Leo says, “I am God/dess and so are you.” Leo gives to others by first giving to themselves, embodying their radiant Source essence. Strongly individuated, Leo empowers others by giving them permission to realize and express their own beauty and light. This kind of love is not earned by living up to some type of standard. It simply IS and feels unabashed joy for the pure expression of it.

The Queen, The King, The Leading Man or Woman with Spontaneous Will, The Star of the Show. Like the Sun, enlightened Leo gives each of us permission to re-member and re-claim our inheritance as Divine beings, and the confidence to be a leading player on the stage of life.

For a snapshot of Leo, check out these lyrics:

Video by India Arie

Sometimes I shave my legs and sometimes I don’t
Sometimes I comb my hair and sometimes I won’t
Depend on how the wind blows I might even paint my toes
It really just depends on whatever feels good in my soul

I’m not the average girl from your video
and I ain’t built like a supermodel
But, I learned to love myself unconditionally
Because I am a queen

I’m not the average girl from your video
My worth is not determined by the price of my clothes
No matter what I’m wearing I will always be
India Arie

When I look in the mirror and the only one there is me
Every freckle on my face is where it’s supposed to be
And I know our creator didn’t make no mistakes on me
My feet, my thighs, my lips, my eyes; I’m lovin’ what I see

Am I less of a lady if I don’t wear pantyhose?
My mama said a lady ain’t what she wears but, what she knows
But I’ve drawn a conclusion, it’s all an illusion,
confusion’s the name of the game

A misconception, a vast deception
Something’s gotta change
but don’t be offended this is all my opinion
ain’t nothing that I’m sayin’ law

This is a true confession of a life learned lesson
I was sent here to share with y’all
So get in where you fit in go on and shine
Clear your mind, now’s the time

Put your salt on the shelf
Go on and love yourself
‘Cuz everything’s gonna be all right

Keep your fancy drinks and your expensive minks
I don’t need that to have a good time
Keep your expensive car and your caviar
All I need is my guitar

Keep your Kristal and your pistol
I’d rather have a pretty piece of crystal
Don’t need your silicone I prefer my own
What God gave me is just fine

© Holly Alexander at http://www.yourdivineblueprint, 2010. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Holly Alexander and http://www.yourdivineblueprint.com with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

Read Full Post »

Joanna Macy

Originally published June 26, 2009

First in line to get my book signed, I looked across the table at the deeply wrinkled face and cloudy eyes radiating grounded crone wisdom, and I reached for her hand.

“You’re a grandmother,” I said softly.

“I am a grandmother,” she said, her reply affirming my acknowledgment of something deeper beyond the literal meaning. “You’re a grandmother too, for all those future beings.”

Joanna Macy took my book and signed, “for Holly, friend and protector of the future generations. Love, Joanna.”

A renowned activist, author, speaker and workshop leader on Buddhist philosophy, systems theory and deep ecology, Macy delivered a passionate speech at this year’s Harmony Festival with the energy of an optimistic twenty-something. Filled with idealism and ready to change the world, she spoke with a fire mixed with the wisdom of a grandmother, occasionally addressing the audience affectionately as “sweeties” and “honeys.”

As I listened to Macy, I was reminded of a centuries-old Native American prophecy that speaks of the circle of grandmothers coming together during these chaotic times, encouraging humanity to turn to these sages for guidance and the action needed to assure our place on earth. It says, “When the Grandmothers from the four directions come to speak, a new time is coming.” In 2004, a group of thirteen international women leaders came together forming the first International Council of Grandmothers.

The Circle of Grandmothers is one expression of the Capricorn archetype at “The Turning of the Ages.” Capricorn is the archetypal giver to the community. As elemental earth energy, it is committed to sustainability. They are the teachers looking back at the previous seven generations, gleaning knowledge about what has worked and what hasn’t, informing them as to what is needed in the present to sustain the next seven generations.

An embodiment of this archetype, and in keeping with the role of Capricorn at The Turning of the Ages, Macy’s ideas are traditional and revolutionary at the same time. An elder and wisdom keeper, she talked about the need to rejoin the natural world. One of the most widely known “deep ecology” methods is the “Council of All Beings,” a communal ritual in which participants speak on behalf of other life-forms.

Macy also addressed her concept of “Deep Time,” work meant to refresh our spirits and inform our minds by experiencing our present lives within larger, temporal contexts. One of the ways to do this is to invoke the “Beings of the Three Times.” This reminds us of our place in time and our connectedness with those who have gone before and those who come after us, as well as those living now. Doing this evokes the inspiration they can offer us in our work for the world, heightening our sense of gratitude and responsibility and strengthening our will.

Borrowing the perspective of future generations and in that larger context of time, Macy spoke of “The Great Turning” and how it is allowing us to come alive again, bringing out great courage and creativity. This is happening simultaneously in three areas or dimensions, the third being the shift in consciousness-perceptions of reality, both cognitively and spiritually. The realizations we make in the third dimension of The Great Turning save us from succumbing to either panic or paralysis.

“We need our imaginations to rise above consensus society,” she said. “Gratitude for being alive at this moment when everything is at stake-that is liberation from the consensus society. Don’t be afraid of the dark, of your own emotions, the loss of species and cultures. If you’re alive, you’re carrying grief and despair-don’t be afraid. Keep breathing. Say, ‘I know I’m suffering with my own world.’ It means you’re connected to the web.”

Macy continued, “You are made from the living earth. When you’re not afraid of your pain for the world and its suffering, nothing can stop you. When you go to act, know that you have been around for a long time, a vast authority of fourteen billion years.”

“But it’s not just about the suffering,” she added. “We also have to feed our appetites for joy and beauty, the juice of our own hearts, gasping with gratitude about being alive at this moment.” Poetry is one way. Picking up a book, Macy read her translation of poet Ranier Maria Rilke’s Sonnets to Orpheus.

Quiet friend who has come so far,
feel how your breathing makes more space around you.
Let this darkness be a bell tower
and you the bell. As you ring,

What batters you becomes your strength.
Move back and forth into the change.
What is it like, such intensity of pain?
If the drink is bitter, turn yourself to wine.

In this uncontainable night,
be the mystery at the crossroads of your senses,
the meaning discovered there.

And if the world has ceased to hear you,
say to the silent Earth: I flow.
To the rushing water, speak: I am.

© Holly Alexander at http://www.yourdivineblueprint, 2010. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Holly Alexander and http://www.yourdivineblueprint.com with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

Read Full Post »

Photo by Holly Alexander

Originally published on July 14, 2009


Stand still. The trees ahead and bushes beside you,
Are not lost. Wherever you are is called Here,
And you must treat it as a powerful stranger,
Must ask permission to know it and be known.
The forest breathes. Listen. It answers,
I have made this place around you,
If you leave it you may come back again, saying Here.
No two trees are the same to Raven.
No two branches are the same to Wren.
If what a tree or a bush does is lost on you,
You are surely lost. Stand still. The forest knows
Where you are. You must let it find you.

—David Wagoner

It can be challenging to swim in the primordial waters of our psyche, in that place outside of time and space, the eternal NOW. Consensus reality (inner and outer Saturn) requires us to report for duty, have clarity about who we are and where we’re headed. It validates us for what we do know.

Many of us are confronting our fears about physical survival these days as transiting Pluto (inner and outer breakdown and transformation) in Capricorn is taking us on an underworld journey related to our personal and collective existing economic structures. Old ways of operating are no longer being supported.  And yet, there is much confusion about precisely what the new, alternative ideas and visions are for living in the world that will, and how to manifest them.

Transiting Neptune (dissolving boundaries and constructs of ego-identification and separation) continues to be on the cosmological world stage, joined by Jupiter and Chiron in Aquarius. One way to view this is as an exterior (Jupiter) and interior (Neptune) vision quest connected to seeking new information on how to fulfill our ultimate potential and finding the key which will open new doors of knowledge, wisdom, and opportunity (Chiron in its teaching aspect).

The Neptune part of us first requires a willingness to give up the old, close the doors and empty out the glass without knowing what the new will bring. Its initiation process invites us to be lost in the wilderness, wandering blindly in the dark, surrendering our attachments to current ego-identification and roles we have played.

Neptune is the antidote to the mind’s need to know. In that place of not knowing, and having faith we are being guided in the deepest recesses of our personal and collective psyche, we are giving ourselves an incredible opportunity to practice another level of spiritual mastery. Inevitably, we are led to a birth of a new identity and beginnings.

© Holly Alexander at http://www.yourdivineblueprint, 2010. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Holly Alexander and http://www.yourdivineblueprint.com with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

Read Full Post »

Butterfly Landing: Image by Mont McEwan

Butterfly Landing: Image by Mont McEwan

Originally published on July 31, 2009

Loving ourselves as we are, is the deepest most profound gift we can offer to ourselves and thus to others. Accepting all decisions we make are the right ones for us, even when they give the false illusion they are not. As wise beings, connected to Source and the vast Intelligence of this Source, we are always in alignment with that Source on some level. Choices we make, consciously and unconsciously, are guided by our Selves from this place.

As we let go of the judgment of false appearances, our bodies relax, and an opening occurs for us to experience the freedom of grace. Grace is not the experience of a place we need to strive to get to. Nirvana, that state of bliss, IS, and asks us to simply allow. Peace and joy flow in effortlessly. We feel the vibrational frequency of ecstasy, in that union with Spirit, our Beloved. The Other, the one we cannot see, and yet, can feel in our bodies, its presence.

We lift ourselves out of the struggle we have become so familiar with, soaring into spaciousness. The wide open free flowing experience of Being, connected with Spirit, united with our human selves. The union of the apparent opposites occurs. All seeming polarities disappear, and we realize we are One.

© Holly Alexander at http://www.yourdivineblueprint, 2010. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Holly Alexander and http://www.yourdivineblueprint.com with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

Read Full Post »

Photo by Holly Alexander

Yin Yang: Photo by Holly Alexander

Originally published on September 28, 2009

In a classic scene from the film Jerry Maguire, the lead character, Jerry (Tom Cruise), walks into a living room filled with a circle of women processing about their relationships with men, and finds his wife Dorothy (Renee Zellweger). After having a successful night in his professional career, Jerry realizes the separation from his wife has left him missing something he has not experienced before.

Jerry:  ”…tonight, our little project, our company had a very big night – a very, very big night.

But it wasn’t complete, wasn’t nearly close to being in the same vicinity as complete, because I couldn’t share it with you. I couldn’t hear your voice or laugh about it with you. I miss my – I miss my wife.

We live in a cynical world, a cynical world, and we work in a business of tough competitors.

I love you. You — complete me. And I just had –

Dorothy:  Shut up. Just shut up. You had me at hello. You had me at hello.

With a preponderance of Libran energy in my natal chart, I immediately resonate with Jerry’s desire to share his victory with his wife, to hear her voice and laugh about it with her. While sharing our life’s experiences with others is a natural drive in our human existence, Libra wants to share it primarily with a partner. But as I watch Jerry vulnerably admit he is not whole without Dorothy, I am annoyed at this regressive and outdated notion that we need a partner to be complete. At the same time, I feel a tug of ambivalence in the Libran part of my psyche.

The now unpopular relationship paradigm of being only half without a partner, stirs up a familiar part of me deeply felt in the earlier years of my life. This driving force was a compulsion and I defined myself largely by who I was with, feeling lost when I wasn’t in a relationship. Years of devoted attention to my inner work, has taken me further away from this former longing I had for being with my other half to experience myself as whole. Being in these relationships I desperately sought, my co-dependence and the resulting pain of it, led me to explore parts of myself I had longed for, taking me closer to an integration of these aspects within myself. Now, I still want a partner, I just don’t need one to feel complete.

From the Shamanic Astrology viewpoint, the Libra mystery school and training includes a key concept that relationship itself is THE path to God, or in other words, it is viewed as the highest spiritual path. Being in a committed partnership and working with another person over a period of time in a conscious relationship, is the fastest path to “waking up.”

One of the primary ways Libra expresses itself is through couple consciousness, and thus, the quest for a soul mate or twin flame and the mythological theme that if a person could find the RIGHT partner, they would live “happily ever after,” is deeply felt within the psyche of those with strong natal placements in this sign.

Underneath this drive for the other, is the Libran objective to be in a constant process of refining awareness of oneself, through interaction with a primary partner and as well other people on a whole. The essence of Libra is that you discover more about yourself and who you are, through the eyes of another person you bond with.

In Shamanic Astrology, the current exploration for the Libra mysteries includes an investigation into the questions, “What is the nature of relationship and partnership? What is non-hierarchical, conscious equal partnership?” Libra training involves becoming a master of relationship.

The archetypal expressions of Libra include: The Wife, The Husband, The Partner, The Goddess Hera/Juno, The Peacemaker, The Diplomat, The Negotiator. Carolyn Myss, an author who has brought archetypal themes into the mainstream culture, adds to this list: The Lover, The Advocate, The Companion, The Judge, The Counselor, The Co-dependent, The Mediator, The Unrequited Lover, The Victim, and The Politician.

Libra is designed to do the most processing with their partner. Having an argument or being in conflict is just as valid as having everything run smoothly, because it is part of the learning process. Through constant creative interchanges with an equal partner Librans learn more about themselves. If you are investigating the Libra mystery school, one of the ways you love yourself is by knowing it is totally legitimate to have a desire to be with a partner who can clearly state, without coercion, the relationship is his or her number one priority. Being with a partner who really wants to work on relationship, who sees it as a process oriented thing is a necessary requirement for this energetic expression.

In a Sun Magazine interview entitled, Men Are From Earth And So Are Women, Jungian analyst, Marion Woodman, discusses the concept of the inner marriage of the true masculine and the true feminine (James Kullander, August, 2006). The renowned author and speaker emphasizes the importance of long-lasting intimate relationships, as a means of personal growth and spiritual development.

These deep bonds of commitment give us a tremendous opportunity to integrate unconscious aspects of ourselves that we project onto the other. The parts of us we reject, because we don’t like them, as well as what we admire in another that we have yet to fully value within ourselves. She says if both partners want to stay together, they will have to go through the process of withdrawing their projections and grow into a mature love. In this type of love, we are given the chance to accept the reality of another versus the archetypal, divine energy that projections carry, turning our partner into Gods and Goddesses.

Woodman states, “when you’re living honestly and maturely with someone you love, there are moments in which God quietly enters…When we stick with someone, we know there’s going to be fighting; there are going to be situations that will require immense patience; and there are going to be huge disappointments. But individuation – finding one’s true self – cannot occur without relationship.”

Married to her partner for over fifty years, Woodman believes in the concept of a destiny partner, and if you’ve married yours, you will know that you should keep working on the relationship. How do you know if you are with your destiny partner? “This person hooks you in your unconscious, and gradually you realize that the ego can’t challenge the energy that’s keeping you together. It’s soul energy, and the soul is eternal…What the ego wants is tiny compared to what the soul wants, and there comes a point when we recognize this, and we surrender to soul, to God.”

Swiss psychiatrist Carl Jung, believed the unconscious contains an impetus to move toward wholeness and it creates challenges for us so we will grow. Woodman says this turns the standard image of love “on its head.” When we finally come to the place when what we know and believe about our partner is shattered, we will have to make a decision to stay or leave. “With our destiny partner, we find that it’s more painful to leave than to stay. The hook remains in, and it pulls us deeper and deeper into the relationship, where we get into bigger and bigger issues, but we stay because we know that we’ve chosen the right person with whom to do this work,” she explains.

The idea of a destiny partner still carries the notion of a right partner, while dispelling the myth of the perfect one where we live happily ever after. Progressive Libra at The Turning of the Ages seeks to join with another from a place of consciousness and equality. It invites us to dive deeply into committed partnership to reveal to us, the truth of who we are. Our partners are mirrors reflecting our multifaceted beings and it is here, by embracing the totally of who we are, that we are complete. We are whole. It is in this place, that we come to know God.

© Holly Alexander at http://www.yourdivineblueprint, 2010. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Holly Alexander and http://www.yourdivineblueprint.com with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

Read Full Post »

« Newer Posts