Every day we’re bombarded with lists of how to be, who to be, what to be: “5 Things Successful People Do.” “10 Ways To Get Healthy This Summer.” I don’t know about you, but I’ve always found these articles to be quite suffocating. Why is it that we’re always trying to box and label everything, including ourselves? Why are we so afraid of allowing things to remain undefined? Because the truth is, life is far richer – and far more rewarding – if we live into the questions, rather than the answers. There is no formula. Our lives, like our identities, are prismatic and elastic; we are constantly shifting, developing and evolving as we lean into (and out of) our daily existences.
I am an astrologer and one of the most fulfilling aspects of my job is providing spiritual counsel. Many people come to astrologers for confirmation: When will I meet someone? When will I get a new job? Should I leave him/her? But that’s not my role. My role, as I see it, is to provide a mirror. Our natal charts reveal the behavior and thought patterns inherent in our personalities, our tendencies and our psychological underpinnings. Often these are contradictory. For example, we may say we want one thing (i.e. a relationship), while our actions prove otherwise. Why do we make such choices? What are our actions revealing to us about our deeper selves? And what is it that we truly want? It’s in this unpacking and unfolding that we discover who we are.
I am also a meditation guide and the question I am most frequently asked is “how do I know if I’m doing it correctly?” Meditation is challenging because it asks nothing of us but our presence. The practice is about being with our selves, dismantling the walls – the thoughts and emotions- that keep us separate and surrendering to what is, coming, as best we can, to a place of acceptance. But some days, it’s simply about observing the thought bubble that’s weighted with lists and judgments and to-dos and quietly, gently bringing one’s awareness back to the present, back to the here and now. And on other days, it’s about watching the mind revel in fantasy, faraway in a (real or imagined) lover’s arms, walking the streets of Tokyo or trekking up Everest. Every meditation is different, because in any given moment we’re different.
There is a misunderstanding, I think, in some spiritual circles that evolution begets a loss of pain. But I find the opposite to be true. That in becoming more aware, more connected, more alive, we’re actually more attuned to the spectrum and nuance of human feeling. And sometimes, with this, comes an almost unbearable sorrow. But this too, like anything, like joy, like bliss, passes. It’s in this impermanence that we experience life for all that it has to offer.
If we live from this place we realize that nothing is ever final. We recognize that we do, in fact, get second chances. And third. And fourth. This phenomenon is notedastrologically during so-called retrograde periods. Retrogrades occur when planets appear to be moving backwards, creating space for inner work and reflection. Mercury retrograde gets a bad rap, but it can be quite useful. If utilized properly, it allows us time to pause and, if need be, course correct. We are in the midst of a series of potent retrogrades. This summer will offer ample opportunities to revisit our past and reflect upon ourchoices, both large and small.
On June 14th, Saturn will dip back into Scorpio (it’s been retrograde since March 14 in Sagittarius), spending its final 3 months in this sign before moving forward on to Sagittarius on September 17th until December 19, 2017.
• Saturn asks that we grow up, that we mature. It spends about 2.5 years in a sign, ensuring that there are plenty of opportunities for growth.
• Scorpio is where we exchange energy – financial, sexual and emotional. It’s where we merge. Some questions to ponder over this period:
• Have you successfully extricated yourself from toxic situations?
• Have you invested in relationships and situations that are mutually beneficial and rewarding, moving towards a shared goal?
These questions will be compounded with Venus, planet of relationships and attraction, spending nearly four months in Leo (where it’s currently transiting), as it will go retrograde from July 31st (at just 0 degrees Virgo, then back into Leo)to September 6th before going direct and into Virgo on October 8th.
• Venus Retrograde is not a time for action. We’re asked, instead, to go inward and examine ourselves before taking appropriate action when Venus goes direct. I would also encourage you to shy away from any superficial cosmetic surgery. Remember, retrogrades are for re’s: redoing, reconnecting, rethinking. Some questions:
• What and whom do you value?
• What and whom in your life has real value?
• Are you in the right relationship for you?
• What is your relationship to your own attractiveness?
Notice what comes forward this summer. The universe is whispering to you, always. And it’s up to you to pay attention.
Throughout these coming months, I will write about astrology, about spirituality, about art and about life as I see it. I hope you’ll enjoy my musings. I look forward to your feedback and to developing a dialogue with the Poppy and Seed community.
All my love,