Posts Tagged ‘Shamanic Astrology’

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.

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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.

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