Healing Readings for Heart & Soul

alchemical-marriage

Alchemical Marriage – Emily Balivet

Mercury is slowing down to go Direct at 5 degrees Gemini on June 11th, having been Retrograde since May 18th. Meanwhile, Neptune slows down to go Retrograde at 10 degrees Pisces on the 12th. While Mercury Retrograde has been said to befuddle the mind, Neptune Retrograde has the opposite effect, since it normally represents areas where we are easily fooled. Have you gained any clarity during the past few weeks – any insights into the nature of your mental capacities, education, upbringing, group consensus or your relationships with others? Have you cracked open any codes within your existing philosophical or religious background or consciousness in general? Some people have struggled less with mental issues and more with electronic devices.

Since the Full Moon of May 3rd Mercury has been opposing Retrograde Saturn in Sagittarius. The stifling conditions of the past have been under review and the pieces of many old puzzles have finally been solved. Buried historical truths have been uncovered. Perhaps you’ve been disputing with certain authority figures, whether they happen to be government agents, employers, or older family members.

It is possible that the your solution or resolution has appeared. It is almost time to move forward again with renewed energy and ideas…but first, some acknowledgements must be made. We have just gone through a major rite of a passage.

We know Mercury as trickster and messenger but few recognize him as the cosmic psychopomp – the somewhat crazy seer, shaman, or off-his-rocker usher that guides spirits through the underworld, to the “other side” wherever that may be. In this case, we have seen the death and even crushing of many old, outdated ideas about ourselves and life itself. This is no small thing. It can take time to assimilate both the endings of and beginnings of what we perceive as knowledge.

Be patient with yourself and the smoothing out of your affairs this week and next, as Mercury does not exit the post-shadow phase until June 27th. Mercury remains in Gemini until July 8th, continuing its emphasis on communications, thought processes and a heightening of all the senses. Can you come to at least one basic agreement while still disagreeing with someone or something? Mercury in Gemini picks up so much information that it’s sometimes challenging to act on any of it. Neptune Retrograde shatters illusions and interrupts dissonance patterns in our psyches, initiating a process of elimination and clarification that should help us to prioritize in the weeks to come. Allow the truth the unfold and the dust to settle. Then, move onward with faith and determination.

“To see a world in a grain of sand and a heaven in a wild flower, hold infinity in the palm of your hand and eternity in an hour.”  – William Blake

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The flower essences spoken of here do not refer to those with a fragrance, but rather the energetic signatures of the flowers themselves which are imprinted into water by sunlight and then preserved, typically with brandy. Flower essences are taken internally to address the mental, emotional, and spiritual imbalances which, if left unchecked become manifest as illness in the physical body.

Dr. Edward Bach who was the major pioneer of Flower Essences in the modern age was well aware of the correlation between astrology, the chakras and both physical and psychological states. Although he was not informed or comfortable enough to expound upon the specific correlations of flower essences to the twelve zodiac signs, he mentioned their significance in his article Twelve Healers in 1933:

“These types of personality are indicated to us by the moon according to which sign of the Zodiac she is in at birth, and a study of this will give us the following points:

  1. The type of personality
  2. His object and work in life
  3. The remedy which will assist him in that work.

… the secret of life is to be true to our personality, not to suffer interference from outside influences. Our personality we learn from the position of the moon at birth; our dangers of interference from the planets”

Bach had produced 38 essences before his passing, and these essences have stood the test of time. The specific Twelve Healers that were highlighted in his article have been listed with corresponding Virtues and Faults. Their astrological counterparts were yet to be determined but many astrologers have since found their connections. Of course certain signs may share a need for the same essence.

Essence  Virtue Fault
Agrimony Stillness Torment
Scleranthus Steadfastness Indecision
Vervain Tolerance The Enthusiast
Clematis Gentleness Indifference
Chicory Love Congestion
Gentian Understanding Discouragement
Water Violet Joy Grief
Centaury Power The Doormat
Impatiens Forgiveness Pain
Cerato Wisdom The Fool
Rock Rose Courage Terror
Mimulus Sympathy Fear

Listed below are some of the most challenged and wounded areas of each sign along with corresponding flower essences and crystals to address their core issues. This is not to say that all people born under these signs struggle with all of these issues. They are the destructive tendencies and imbalances of each sign that may be present in people to various degrees, in various aspects of their lives, at various times. For that matter, the energy of all signs are present in all of us to some degree. One must take into consideration not only the Sun sign but also the Ascendant, Moon and other planetary positions and their aspects. There are also certain times in our lives represented by transits that these energies seem more strong and noticeable than others. Crystals and gems can be used to make essences too (called elixirs), or worn for similar effects. Essences and crystals can help with life transitions as well as shift stubborn, longstanding patterns. I intend to add to this list over time.

Astrological Emotional Challenges & Essences to Address Them

Aries/1st House/Mars

Negative patterns: Impulsiveness, combativeness, competitiveness, impatience. “Pushing the envelope”. The urge to try harder, do more, and do it fast. Accident-prone. Unconscious self-abuse. Alienation due to haste.

Healing Essences: Impatiens (Bach flower essences) to become more patient with self, others, and progress. Aloe Vera (FES) for balanced creative activity. Dandelion (FES) for dynamic and effortless activity with flexibility and balance. Tiger Lily (FES essences) for redirecting competitive energies and hostility. Heather (Bach) to move away from excessive self-absorption. Diamonds for overall healing, good feelings and protection. Labradorite for slowing down to smell the roses, trusting in the divine plan. Manganocalcite to foster gentleness with oneself and others.

Taurus/2nd House/Venus

Negative patterns: Fears of change – a need for certain things to remain exactly as they are. Fears of lack. Feelings of futility. Mistrustful of the compliments of others. Fears of failure, loss or deceit. Attachment to money or material objects.

Healing Essences: Star Thistle (FES) for generosity and inner abundance. Sagebrush (FES) for transformation and letting go. Cayenne (FES) ease of mobility and change. Bog Blueberry (Alaskan flower essences) for unconditional acceptance of abundance. Oregon Grape (FES) trust and positive expectation of good from others. Chestnut Bud (Bach flower essences) to learn a lesson and move on instead of repeating it like a broken record. Chicory (Bach) to love and accept others as they are. Star Ruby to lovingly inspire into “right” action. Roses of any kind, to encourage love, confidence and spiritual inspiration.

Gemini/3rd House/Mercury

Negative patterns: Anxiety. Mental restlessness. Impatience. Rationalization and overanalyzing. Disconnection from body and emotions. Bored easily. Difficulties concentrating. Uncertainty – this way or that way. Quick-tongued, difficulties listening. Fear of aging.

Healing Essences: White Chestnut (Bach essences) to quiet the monkey mind, allow for deeper sleep. Impatiens (Bach flower essences) to become more patient. Chrysanthemum (FES essences) to accept the process of aging and a higher spiritual identity. Jojoba (Desert Alchemy) for grounding and coping with the mundane aspects of life on Earth. Mountain Pennyroyal (FES) for mental integrity and psychic protection. Lavender (FES essences) to calm the spirit.  Aquamarine, to calm and positively alter the self-talk. Clear Calcite to clarify and uplift the mind.

Cancer/4th House/Moon

Negative patterns: Fear of criticism and rejection.  Insecurity – feeling unloved, unworthy, easily hurt or victimized. Fear of being ripped off. Hiding due to over-stimulation and a need to process. Inability to cope with reality. Intense grief. Worrywart tendencies – especially over loved ones. Strange phobias and nightmares.

Healing Essences: Cherry Plum (Bach essences) to regain a sense of poise and composure. Mimulus (Bach) to counteract excess fear and timidity. Honeysuckle (Bach) for being present. Red Chestnut (Bach essences) to care for others with calmness and trust. Chamomile (FES) for emotional balance. Fairy Lantern (FES) for emotional maturity. Gorse (Bach) faith and hope. Black Tourmaline to protect from harmful influences. Moonstones to help stabilize frantic or fluctuating emotions. Abalone shell, Mother of Pearl and actual Pearl to support intuitive faculties and stabilize emotionally.

Leo/5th House/Sun

Negative patterns: Need for reassurance and approval. Inferiority complex behind a proud or confidant demeanor. Conversely, overly shy & unwilling to share talents with the world due to underestimating oneself. Fear of scandal. Wounded pride. Destructive anger. Difficulties with self-reflection, honest self-appraisal and objectivity.

Healing Essences: Larch essence (Bach) to help overcome insecurities and let the true self shine. Willow essence (Bach) to increase flexibility and release crystallized emotions, which can result in heart ailments. Sunflower (FES) for balanced power and ego strength. Iris (FES) inspired artistry and creativity. Buttercup (FES) to radiate inner light, unattached to recognition. Water Violet (Bach) to counteract aloofness and to share oneself with the world. Sunstone to highlight and trust in one’s best qualities. Gold to enhance creative gifts and shine. Citrine for concentration and confidence.

Virgo/6th House/Mercury

Negative patterns: Perfectionism. Body-dysmorphia, self-hatred or extreme humility. Obsessed with flaws. Emotional detachment. Feeling of worthlessness and guilt. Self-sacrifice to the point of exhaustion and waste. Behaving in a subservient manner due to fear of one’s own personal power.

Healing Essences: Crab Apple (Bach) to release painful feelings of self-loathing which have become lodged in the body. Filaree  (FES essences) for a broad vision and wider perspective on daily events. Pine (Bach) to release guilt. Self-Heal (FES) for a vital, healthy sense of self. Larch essence (Bach flower essences) to boost confidence. Dogwood (FES) for grace-filled movement, physical and etheric harmony. Manganocalcite to feel joyfully loved and perfect as one is.  Aquamarine, to positively alter the self-talk. Rose Quartz for self-love and acceptance.

Libra/7th House/Venus

Negative patterns: Indecision. Procrastination and inertia due to self-doubt, waiting for the better answer, way or solution (fear of making mistakes). Distrust of own intuition. Difficulties drawing boundaries and saying No. Seeking opinions or approval from others before acting on personal conviction. People-pleasing. Fear of confrontations.

Healing Essences: Scleranthus (Bach) for resolve. Centaury (Bach essence) to just say No. Cerato (Bach essence) to trust intuition. Mountain Pride (FES) to connect with the spiritual warrior within, take action. Mullein (FES) to heed inner truth. Agrimony (Bach) for emotional honesty. Tansy (FES) for decisive action. Bleeding Heart (FES) for relating with unconditional love. Fire Opal for quick and effective decision-making and seeing the “bigger picture”. Blue Sapphire to bridge the spiritual realm with the physical body for equilibrium. Watermelon Tourmaline to balance male/female energies in heart center.

Scorpio/8th House/Pluto

Negative patterns: Paranoia. Guilt and turmoil. Pride easily wounded. Manipulative and vindictive when slighted, using subversive tactics to receive nurturing and/or attention. Envy, jealousy, and rage. Bottling emotions inside until they explode in misdirected ways. Projection.

Healing Essences: Pine essence (Bach) to release feelings of guilt and shame which cause stagnation in the aura and attract negative situations. Holly (Bach) for anger, hatred, and toxic emotions. Scarlet Monkeyflower (FES) for emotional honesty and shadow integration. Black Cohosh (FES) to release deep feelings of heaviness, darkness, and despair – healing from abuse. Tomato (Spirit-In-Nature essences) for psychic protection. Rose Quartz for self-love and ability to nurture the self. Rhodochrosite to heal the heart from effects of abuse, sexual and other. Rainbow Obsidian to see the beauty in all things and to prevent energetic burn-out.

Sagittarius/9th House/Jupiter

Negative patterns: Suppressing pain and sorrow behind a cheerful face. Seeking to please and be fun-loving, often at one’s personal expense. Fanaticism. Afraid to face emotions, feeling that deep feelings are too alien to deal with. Claustrophobia. Over-indulgence. Drug-abuse.

Healing Essences: Agrimony flower essence (Bach) for healing the inner torment hidden behind a happy face and naturally humorous nature. Orange (Spirit-In-Nature flower essences) to elevate a burdened mind. Calendula (FES) for healing and receptivity, imparting warmth through words. Larkspur (FES) for charismatic leadership in a joyful manner. Vervain (Bach) for tolerance and moderation. Cosmos (FES) to express truth and ideas with clarity. Beech (Bach) for more compassionate speech. Fire Agates and Fire Opal to increase intuition. Gold to enhance creative gifts and shine.

Capricorn/10th House/Saturn

Negative patterns: Self-criticism and austerity. Resentment and bitterness. Fear of failure. Fear of emotional vulnerability and betrayal. Separation from or over-identification with parents or family. Workaholic. A fear of one’s own strength and how it might hurt others.

Healing Essences: Oak (Bach) for a more balanced approach to work and play, to allow for more play and creativity when overworked. Scotch Broom (FES) for positive and optimistic feelings about the world and future events. Dill (FES) to experience the fullness of life. Mustard (Bach) for finding joy in life. Baby Blue Eyes (FES) for feeling at home in the world. Wild Oat (Bach) work with a sense of inner purpose. Zinna (FES) for playfulness and connecting with the inner child. Star Tulip (FES) to connect with dreams and higher worlds. Garnets for focus and success. Emeralds to keep the heart open and receptive to new possibilities.

Aquarius/11th House/Uranus

Negative patterns: Unsure how to channel the huge influx of creative and spiritual energies. Fear of being mediocre. Fear of social rejection. Need for dominance and control. Opinionated. Being “indispensable” in  order to gain love. A front of control covering up inner confusion or lack of self worth.

Healing Essences: Water Violet (Bach) to share the self with love, humility, and wisdom. Vine (Bach) to transform dominance into loving leadership. Shooting Star for cherishing one’s uniqueness while feeling connected to others. Sweet Pea (FES) for commitment to community and one’s place on Earth. Red Clover (FES) to say calm amidst mass hysteria. Quaking Grass (FES) Harmonious group work. Goldenrod (FES) inner sense of self balanced with group/social consciousness. Catulpa Tree (Featherhawk essences) to share self joyfully with others, also connect with higher realms. Purple Flourite for mental cleansing and spiritual attunement. Quartz Crystal for clarity.

Pisces/12th House/Neptune

Negative patterns: Fears of abandonment. Fears of exploitation and/or being used. Overstimulation and hyper sensitivity. Deep feelings of need for atonement. Martyrdom and self-sacrifice. Snuffing out painful emotions with drugs and alcohol. Escapism and addiction.

Healing Essences: Clematis (Bach essences) for manifesting inspiration in practical life. Mugwort (FES) to balance psychic activity. Shooting Star flower essence (Alaskan flower essences) to ease feelings of loneliness, loss, being out of place, to connect to higher realms. Pink Yarrow (FES) for appropriate emotional boundaries. California Poppy (FES) to connect with the spirituality and radiance in one’s own heart. Corn (FES) grounded presence, Earth alignment especially through feet. Chaparral (FES) balanced psychic awareness. Aquamarine, to gain access into thoughts behind emotions before they become further blocked. Black Tourmaline for grounding and psychic protection.

For a personalized flower essence report and essence blend contact me at starfire_healing@yahoo.com

Bibliography:

Flower Essence Repertory – by Patricia Kaminski

The Twelve Healers of the Zodiac – by Peter Damian

Bach Flower Therapy – by Mechthild Scheffer

The Healing Herbs of Edward Bach-  by Julian & Martine Barnard

Flower Essence Gem Report (Cosmic Patterns Software) – Gina Ronco

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“These games will be the death of me yet; the wrack and ruin, or else the salvation…Games pared down to the blazing bare bones, to the beautiful, terrible core of it all.”

– Rob Schultheis, Bone Games

The Full Moon at 11 degrees of Sagittarius on June 2nd puts us in touch with our raw, uncensored selves. People are feeling extra feisty and fidgety, or maybe fantastic and festive, but feelings have certainly reached their nth degree. Those feelings are not hidden but are as obvious as daylight for those with eyes to see.

In Taurus, where the Sun just recently passed we tend to deeply connect with the beauty and pleasurable aspects of nature. The influence of Sagittarius plunges us into the jungles or Mt. Everests of our minds and of the earth plane, whether for the thrill or hell of it, or just as likely to see how well we survive when left to our own devices. This sign love a challenge and welcomes it with open arms. When things start blowing up, getting weird or going down, Sag says “Game on!”

Basically, this is no time to be a shrinking violet, or to otherwise lapse into some kind of victim mindset. No – Sagittarius won’t have any of that. With the full moon opposing Mercury Retrograde in Gemini it could be time to reevaluate what works and doesn’t as far as strategies are concerned.

mazegrassMars opposite the Full Moon and inconjunct Pluto in Capricorn makes for some big-time fuss budget energy, possibly causing an “all pumped up and no place to go” scenario. Being square to hazy Neptune this Full Moon won’t take us very far if we’re just going along with the rather simplistic guideposts in our faces and the handrails given to us.

This full moon is conjunct the fixed star Rastaban, which being above “eye level” in the constellation Draco can represent the third eye or sixth sense of the Dragon. This tell us we should not rely on our mere physical vision to tell us who to trust or which way to turn. We are reminded of the power of both intuition and imagination to guide us in both the dark tunnels and wild adventures of life.

The imagination opens the gates to all possibilities, some of which we may entertain for a short time and others we may manifest into physical reality with our intense and repeated focus. A few of the relevant questions to ask during this Full Moon:

  • What exactly is being projected into the future?
  • What beliefs are being held onto that actually block and inhibit progress?
  • In what area would it help to have more optimism and faith?
  • Are the words being said and language being used in alignment with desired outcomes?

The Sabian symbol for the Full Moon at 11-12 degrees of Sagittarius is:

“A Flag Turns Into An Eagle; The Eagle Into A Chanticleer Saluting The Dawn”

This flag was meant to signify a nation, specifically America with the Eagle as its symbol. Dane Rudhyar’s interpretation continues:

“The eagle symbolizes spiritual will and the power to rise to highest possible altitude of consciousness and purpose. Flying at such an altitude, the eagle is the first living creature to  perceive the rising sun. Having perceived it – it heralds it, and by doing so is identified with the crowing chanticleer (rooster), who had convinced himself that his resonant cry was responsible for the rise of the sun and the coming of a new day”.

This symbol speaks nothing of morality, truth, or dignity in and of itself. Evidently it can be taken to mean different things, according to one’s agenda. Regarding a renewal of the NSA’s spying program in the USA, President Obama was quoted last week saying “I don’t want us to be in a situation in which, for a certain period of time, those authorities go away, and suddenly we’re dark.”

However, it is becoming increasingly clear to many American people that the very threat of terrorism used as an alibi in order to conduct massive surveillance is an act of terrorism in itself.

Politics and fraud sold to us under the name of freedom aside, we’re all too familiar with the kinds of change and transformation that we find unsatisfactory and unpleasant. More times than not, the higher levels of transformation are achieved with intention and a bit of work or specific actions that lead toward a previously visualized result. We call this magic or manifestation., which is always done with both purpose and passion.

When we combine visualization with passion and verbal exclamations, our words become incantations that bring thought and energy into physical form. Each of us has an inherent ability to shift and effect change far more powerfully than we have ever been taught.

“The greatest danger for most of us is not that we aim too high and we miss it but that it is low and we reach it.” – Michelangelo

Venus slows down midway through Leo next month, entering a pre-shadow period on the Summer Solstice of June 21st and actually turning Retrograde at 0 degrees of Virgo on July 25th until September 6th, stationing Direct at 14 degrees Leo.

Venus as a planet rules love, beauty, money, and feminine matters, but esoterically she is about so much than mere aesthetics and affection. She is about what truly makes us tick on some very fundamental levels. Venus represents our internal value system and how we relate to and project it outwardly into the world.

Be very careful about expensive purchases during this time which will weigh on the side of needing a return or exchange. If you get some new hairdo or wardrobe with the intention of feeling better about yourself, you might wind up with the opposite results. This would be an especially sore issue during the first week of this Retrograde (July 25th – 31st) with Venus in critical Virgo.

Although Venus starts off Retrograde in Virgo with frugality and reserve, she will be spending the majority of her review in Leo  – the sign associated with willpower, creativity and all expressions of the heart. Old flames and infatuations might resurface and need to either be fully released or given a chance for healing, forgiveness, and resolution. Unresolved emotional issues could flare up and necessitate a shift from familiar attitudes and actions. The old ways of doing certain things aren’t yielding the results we want anymore. Einstein said:

“The definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again expecting different results”.

What’s up now is the opportunity to approach very old problems, hang-ups, personal and relationship issues with the wisdom and experiences we have gained over time. If we can let go of the notion that our brains are responsible for most of our functionality and rather pay heed to the innate intelligence of our hearts, we may find ourselves amazed at where we land and what we manifest. Heart Math Institute has done some wonderful research on the intelligence, intuition, and restorative qualities of the heart.

Sekhmet Calls the Shots

Bast and Sekhmet

Sekhmet by Ellisa Hawke Mitchell

Named after a goddess of both love and war, when the planet Venus as a representative of this ultra feminine, archetypal energy moves in a backward fashion from our perspective on the Earth we see more of her aggressive side coming out.

Sekhmet, the fierce Egyptian Lioness calls the shots and has no qualms about making known her desires, decisions, and revisions when it comes to relationships, creative endeavors, investments, and for some, custody rights over children. You don’t want to mess with this mama, because it will backfire in ways that resemble your worst nightmare. Integrity is a life saver.

Venus in Leo (June 5th – October 8th 2015) is by nature playful, sweet, and sexy but when reversed in direction  (July 31st – September 6th) can be obsessed, quirky, addictive, insecure, impatient, or take feelings so seriously that it becomes very difficult to view and respond to experiences objectively. A more positive expression of Retrograde Venus could come through deep emotional renewal and bonding. Use caution in brand new relationships during this time and don’t “play with fire” unless you are ready to get burned. Passions are running high and need outlets. The best way in this sign is through music, dance, and anything expressed with creativity or genuinely from the heart.

Venus’s square to Saturn in Scorpio during August will be the influence that makes or breaks many existing projects and relationships. Either way, work and responsibility will be required. And either way, whatever makes or breaks we experience are likely to be for the better, setting us on course with what truly resonates in our hearts.

While Retrograde Venus will pair up twice with the “Greater Benefic” of the zodiac – Jupiter. Then she will pair up with him a third time post-Retrograde, after both planets have entered the sign of Virgo.

  • Venus conjunct Jupiter ( 21 degrees Leo) – July 1st
  • Venus conjunct Jupiter ( 28 degrees Leo) – August 4th
  • Venus conjunct Jupiter (15 degrees Virgo) – October 25th

This lucky pair could shower us with blessings or a seeming curse, all depending upon where we have placed our values. Surely some of our long seeking and working for improvements will be rewarded during this time. When our actions are aligned with our souls and our innermost wishes we frequently find ourselves in the right place at the right time. Then we have access to unlimited sensuality, healing, creativity, and joy filled abundance.

Mercury goes Retrograde May 18th until June 11th. Mercury is at home in the sign of Gemini but out of its element when squaring Neptune as  it began to do on May 9th, will revisit May 28th, and for a third time moving forward June 23rd. Things can seem so hazy and confusing with Mercury in hard aspect to Neptune that it is its own kind of “retrograde” influence in and of itself. Emotions are going this way and that way, and their cause is somewhat uncertain. So much is going on, and yet what is going on exactly seems difficult to pin down and explain. Ideas and conversation abound, but where do they lead? In addition Mars joined in for the planetary and perceptual shift inward, kicking off this cycle with an opposition to Saturn in Sagittarius, kind of forcing us to find the humor in some our most cherished dramas rather than taking them so bloody seriously. From a sky raining spiders in Austrailia on this day to people in America finally recognizing that we are not the only intelligent life forms in the cosmos, I’d say that we are in for an interesting ride these next few weeks.

The Sun is still in Taurus until the 21st, so there is this amplification of earthly and monetary concerns. All that relates to the physical body – what feeds, nurtures and comforts us as well as the source of our food is of utmost importance. We are each a microcosm of the Earth, processing the same changes and recovering from the same abuse that she suffers. Some of us are happy about what’s changing and others are experiencing severe withdrawals, on both psychic and physical levels. Fast food chains such as McDonalds are slowly going out of business while other companies favoring organic, non-GMO ingredients are rising in popularity. The way I see it, this is not just a cute little fad for young folks but it’s one very small step to what has to happen for the survival of humanity.

The Sun enters Gemini on the 21st and will further highlight the Mercurial qualities of this sign and its ruling planet. The planet that appears to be going backward exerts a stronger rather than weaker influence in our consciousness, which is why many people consider it to be malefic. Combining the luminous Sun, Mercury’s frenetic energy with aggressive Mars and disorienting Neptune, we would do best look toward what tunes us into our sense of spiritual will rather than going-nowhere-fast mode. This is a time to strengthen what in shamanic terms is called the Dream Body, which relates to our abilities to dream lucidly and astral travel on purpose. While Neptune sometimes throws us off course in waking life, it can help us to navigate more skillfully on the inner planes. This is especially so when slowing down to switch direction and go Retrograde, as it will do on June 12th.

gemini-mercuryAlthough Mercury Retrograde generally doesn’t favor new experiences or beginnings it has its exceptions. Specifically this one is about awakening our senses, looking around more at what surrounds us and what resources are available to us rather than being trapped in a “grass-is-greener” mentality. We’re encouraged to explore our own neighborhoods, to walk, cycle, or drive the routes we’ve rarely or never travelled, and to entertain relatives or kindred spirits that perhaps we haven’t seen in awhile. Last but not least, with all this Geminid energy we are looking a lot at the duality in our lives, with the need to either choose between “wrong or right”, or to integrate our light and our dark selves in a way that allows us to more effectively function in our unique wholeness.

The New Moon at 26 degrees of Taurus on May 17th highlights our desires for comfort and our needs for sustenance. Insecurities about money, fidelity, health, and other areas of concern have been making themselves known over the past few days leading up to this. Taurus’s ruling planet Venus is transiting through sensitive Cancer, in opposition with Pluto. This opposition further brings up issues of jealousy, possessiveness, and may trigger highly charged episodes of “OCD”.  On a positive note it can facilitate deep intimacy through nurturing rather than dependency through manipulation. We are fed and nurtured as much by giving as by receiving in certain ways. Venus’s trine to Neptune gives us and appreciation for the gifts that may not necessarily be tangible, which is usually what Taurus prefers.

Taurus is a deeply sensual and earthy sign, helping us to slow down and savor the finer things in life. It’s helpful to keep in mind that importance of time-outs, tune-ups, and slowing down in general as Mercury stations Retrograde the very next day (18th) until June 11th. The irony is that people might actually be too hasty, sharp-tongued and reckless with this Retro period since Mars is pairing up with Mercury in chatty, quick-moving Gemini. Add to that Mercury’s set of triple squares to Neptune, causing complete and utter confusion or lack of direction. On the other hand we can receive a lot of inspiration during this time and be energized in our release-and-review process. Mercury’s stretched out trine to the North Node in Libra also helps to make amends in personal relationships.

taurusThe New Moon at 26 degrees of Taurus is conjunct the fixed star Algol which is associated with the eye of Medusa. Typically feared as a malevolent influence Algol is known as a star that unleashes both intense rage and sexual energy – not a good combination for bonding. In Greek mythology, Medusa was a priestess who was raped by Poseidon and then punished by Athena for her own misfortune. However, just as in the rape story of Persephone being pulled into the underworld by Pluto, the power of this goddess only grew in the darkness. We may be hard pressed to look at our own repressions, oppressions and coercions not only as the terrible challengers they are but as teachers and bringers of wisdom. One possible lesson to consider is that just as external beauty can easily decay or be destroyed there is a beauty that can be cultivated that eventually transforms us inside out.

Taurus is the sign associated with Gaia, and as such this New Moon encourages us to reconnect with the Earth Mother in ways that heal both ourselves and Her. Spending time outdoors on the grass, in the flowers, hiking, gardening, cleaning up litter or simply and consciously breathing with gratitude can profoundly shift the ways that we perceive ourselves and our world.

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